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ladies2A man dropped a good word on me once. I was feeling vaguely unsettled, slightly depressed, and tired. Just plain soul weary. I thought, well I probably need anti-depressant and no doubt I’m bipolar, delusional, and likely suffering from a brain tumor, too.

(I’d like to thank the guy who recently gave me the article about the woman who just died from a brain eating amoeba lurking in her neti pot. Thanks dude, that’s precisely the kind of encouragement I need. Sometimes I forget to be a proper hypochondriac.)

So this man and his good word said, “No, there’s nothing wrong with you, it’s just because you’re on the front lines and surrounded by scoffers 24/7. You are under constant attack and got people speaking death over you more than anyone I’ve ever seen.”

Wut??

This is not a pity party, but rather the tale of a major revelation. Until that very moment, my strategy had always been to just ignore it, to not even see it really. It had become so normal, I had just rendered it completely invisible. My solution to dealing with toxic people and their perpetual anxiety, was to just ignore it and focus on the next positive thing. Not a bad strategy, but all that scoffing I had repressed, ignored, was still hanging over me, with all those negative words now hovering in the shadows, just beyond memory

What do you do with things hovering in the shadows? Drag them out into the sun light, kind of like sheets you hang out on a clothes line. They’ll come back in smelling like well, sunshine, if the sun can be said to have a smell. I have no idea how that even works, but trust me, the sun has a smell and it is delicious.

At the time I did not believe in spiritual attacks. Like, enemy, shmeney, I ain’t got no time for that fool. A most inconvenient belief let me tell you, especially when you are confronted with the horrifying truth.

So the idea was to pay attention to the scoffers, to write down the words if necessary, to take note of the number of attacks I was dealing with every day. You can’t just let them sit there, you have rebuke them, every single one, if only in prayer. Oh good grief was that horrifying, and daunting too, because that guy was so right. I was like a magnet for toxic negativity, like I had a target on my back, like a red laser light trained right on me 24/7.

All the best people do.

Most of them were not really coming from enemies either, but rather people I loved, so that made it all the worse. You know how Jesus speaks to Peter, whom he loves dearly, but still, “get ye behind me satan.” I totally get that now.

Sometimes you really do need to drink the whole bottle of vinegar, to get to the vinegar mother, the gelatinous cellulose and acetic acid  mass lurking at the bottom. If you don’t know what a vinegar mother is, you haven’t truly lived. Just trust me on that, sometimes you really do need to drink the whole darn bottle to find the truth.

It was a brutal adventure in becoming aware of your surroundings, because in a span of less than ten minutes I was hearing so many negative things I could hardly track them all, like, “are you still going to that stupid church?” And, “where’s your alleged god god now?” Christians are a bunch of idiots. Hope you don’t crash your car. You’ll never make it. Life sucks. God hates us. I wish I were dead. You think too highly of yourself….

Seriously, those words were just pouring from people’s mouths, some of them directed like fiery arrows at me personally and some just the lamentations of suffering people. There were more negative words being poured over me then I could even count.

Don’t even get me started about people’s music always blasting in the background. Nothing quite like, let’s glamorize our ability to steal, kill, and destroy and romantisize it in song. And me just a human pin cushion for fiery darts and all.

It wasn’t all coming from non believers either. Let me tell you, sometimes Christians can be the worse of all, with their fiery darts and little foxes nipping at the grapes. A while back I tried inviting a woman to coffee and she actually said, “well I’ve been talking to some people and they said I shouldn’t because you have Bethel on you.” At bit funny, because at the time I had no idea what Bethel even was. It sounded a bit like a disease, like impetigo, sure to be contagious.

Being the gracious Christian that I am, I promptly thought, Wait girl, are you actually saying your casino hoping, barfly, living with your 3rd boyfriend self, is so concerned about keeping up “Christian appearances,” you’re afraid to have coffee with me?

That’s exactly what she was saying.

Let me tell  you, I know what Bethel is now, and we have just doubled down on the Bethel. Now I ooze Bethel, and you better be careful because it is indeed highly contagious and before you know it, you’ll be just delighting in praise and worship songs and talking endlessly about the Lord’s “Reckless Love.” Horrifying, I know.

But this tale actually began with a good man who once dropped a good word on me, take note of it, don’t ignore it, don’t inhale it, and just breathe it out. I’m telling you, some days there is more  heavy breathing going on then in a labor and delivery room, but I’m grateful for that man who taught me how to breathe.

 

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